NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 9 – Kenyans have expressed mixed reactions over the surprise election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United State of America.
Trump shocked the world with a historic win after bagging 290 Electoral College votes against Hillary Clinton’s 218 to take over from Barrack Obama who has served for two terms.
Some of those who spoke to Capital FM News described Trump’s victory as a major blow to the country, saying his policies were unpredictable.
“I am disappointed, I really wanted a woman president at least to make history in the US – just to make history like Obama,” said Christine Amani, “But the promises he gave are scary but what do we do? I guess we’ll have to make do with what we have.”
Unlike in 2008 when Kenyans woke up to news of the election of Obama who traces his roots to Kenya, the energy Wednesday in Nairobi’s Central Business District was significantly low with Kenyans – most of whom remained speechless – had their eyes glued to the screens following the proceedings which indicated as early as 7 am that Trump was headed to a resounding victory when he bagged Electoral College votes from key states—including Florida and North Carolina which are seen as influential in determining the winner.
“I am a bit disappointed about the election, Winston Polo said, “ A lot will happen, it will affect the common citizens – it’s going to be tough.”
There are those who hailed the billionaire businessman for the historic victory with the hope that he will institute radical changes that will transform the US, and adopt a more inclusive approach in handling global economic and security challenges.
“Trump was gonna win, if you saw BREXIT coming – this was also coming,” Francis Mbugwa said, “Americans felt that the economy was going the wrong way. We will sit and wait but I don’t see much changing for the time being.”
Others also suggested that the radical approach to issues affecting Americans as outlined by Trump made him win the hearts of many voters who bought to his rallying call of “Making America Great Again”.
“ It’s good that Donald has won because he actually talks about the things that people are afraid of saying,” said Philista Mutio, “It’s good that he’s brought issues to light and now that he’s won, I think the people will support him.”
Just like the rest of the world, most Kenyans had expressed confidence in Clinton’s ability to clinch the victory as widely predicted by influential pollsters and US media as late as Tuesday.
While Trump said Clinton had called to congratulate him, the Democratic candidate has not spoken publicly. “Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country,” Trump said, in his first speech as President-elect of the United States of America, “I mean that very sincerely.”
He “pledged to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all of Americans,” Trump said, in his first speech as President-elect of the United States of America.”
Outgoing US President Barack Obama late Wednesday congratulated Trump and invited him to the White House on Thursday.
Kenya’s Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala was optimistic that the country will cash in on Trump’s win.
“The election fever is over, I can tell you that the Americans will not be pre-occupied with the elections anymore, they will be pre-occupied in wanting to go for holiday and relax and Kenya is open to doing business with the United States,” Balala said.
Kenyans developed a significant interest during the 2008 US election where Obama – who traces his ancestral roots to Kenya – was elected as President.
The then government led by President Mwai Kibaki led Kenyans in marking a holiday on the subsequent day of the victory, to celebrate the election of the first black president of the United States.